Buying the perfect wedding present can be really difficult. How much do you spend? Do they really want that fancy toaster? And what happens when there’s nothing left on the gift list?
If you’re buying for the Queen, we have no doubt that things are even trickier. So image our surprise when we found out that Queen Elizabeth actually received some very strange gifts when she married Prince Philip in 1947.
The younger royals have proved themselves to be quite the present buyers – just take a look at all the things that Prince William has given Kate Middleton for her birthdays over the years (the list includes some very glam jewellery). Kate even reportedly bought Prince Harry a ‘Grow Your Own Girlfriend’ for Christmas before he met Meghan Markle.
However, sixty years ago things were a little different. According to the documentary The Majestic Life of Queen Elizabeth II, which was aired in 2014, the Queen and Prince Philip received around 1700 presents after exchanging their vows. 1700! And of these, hundreds were nylon stockings for the Queen herself. Not exactly the grand gifts we were expecting, but fine.
Royal biographer Robert Lacey said: ‘One of the charming things is that, I think, of the 1700 or so wedding presents that were officially listed, several hundreds were nylon stockings, which loyal ladies in the country decided to send to the princess.’
While it sounds a little odd that the Queen would receive so many pairs of tights, there’s actually a very sweet meaning behind it. In 1941, during WWII, clothes were rationed and nylon stockings were near impossible to get hold of.
Other unusual gifts the newlyweds received – according to the documentary – included a box of apples, two dozen handbags, and 12 bottles of sloe gin. Plus, we’re guessing they like pineapple as they reportedly got 500 tins of the stuff.